New Turkish Lira Questions & Answers
When did the New Turkish Lira enter circulation?
On 1 January 2005 the New Turkish Lira (Yeni Türk Lirası in Turkish or Yeni Turk Lirasi using only English letters) entered the Turkish market and become legal tender.
What happened to the old Turkish lira?
In 2005 the old Turkish Lira was gradually phased out of circulation. December 31 2005 was the last day the old lira was accepted in shops. From 1 January 2006 onwards, any remaining old lira has to be converted at either the Turkish Central Bank or T.C. Ziraat Bank branches.
How much is the New Turkish Lira (YTL) worth?
United States Dollar: USD $1 = 1.51 YTL
Australian Dollar: AUD $1 = 1.34 YTL
Euro: EUR €1 = 2.18 YTL
British Pound: GBP £1 = 2.41 YTL
Swiss Franc: CHF 1 = 1.46 YTL
Canadian Dollar: CAD $1 = 1.44 YTL
Japanese Yen: JPY 100 = 1.65 YTL
*All rates as of 28 December 2009
What do the New Turkish Lira notes (bills) and coins look like?
Please see the New Turkish Lira note (bill) and coin designs.
How is the New Turkish Lira different to the old Turkish lira?
The main difference is the new lira has 6 less zeros. For example: 1,000,000 old liras will convert to 1 new lira. Values less than 1,000,000 old liras will convert to kurus (pronounced 'kurush'). 100 new kurus equals 1 new lira. The symbol for New Turkish Lira is YTL and for New Kurus, YKr. To help with changing between the new and old liras, following is a conversion table:
What denominations does the New Turkish Lira have?
The new lira has notes of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 lira and coins of 1 lira, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 kurus. Note: there are both notes and coins of 1 lira value.
Why has the Turkish government decided to drop 6 zeros from the lira?
The Turkish government decided on the change for three main reasons:
a) Practical: Dealing with tens, hundreds, thousands and millions is far easier and manageable than dealing with millions, billions, trillions and quadrillions. The only people not happy with the change were the calculator manufacturers!
b) Technical: The multiple digits caused problems with accounting, data processing and statistical software designed for smaller currencies. Petrol station signs also could not display all the digits for the fuel prices.
c) Psychological: Modern Turkey has had a history of hyperinflation. Rare has a year past when the inflation rate was less than 30%(!). In the last 30 years the lira has devalued from 14 to 1,500,000 for USD $1. At one stage a few years ago, the lira was over 1,800,000 to USD $1. The hyperinflation has gone and inflation is currently below 10%.
Removing the zeros will help wipe away the past and hopefully, start a new era of economic confidence in Turkey; a new era when people don't expect price rises every few months, businesses don't automatically lift their prices each quarter and new, higher denomination notes are not issued every 2 years.
The rise in the value of the lira versus the USD is detailed below:
Wasn't having both the old and new lira in circulation at the same time confusing?
Yes, the dual currency systems was confusing. Dealing with so many zeros on the old lira was bad enough, particularly for new visitors to Turkey. The new notes and coins only added to the bewilderment in 2005. It is best to memorise different the notes and coins as soon as possible, ideally, before one even enters Turkey. Also see other money tips for Turkey.
For 2005, it was compulsory for all shops to have prices at both old and new rates to help reduce the confusion a little.
Did businesses take advantage of the change in currency to increase prices, as what happened in the Euro Zone countries?
Although it was possible, such cheating happen on a wide scale. The new lira rate is simply 1/millionth or 6 zeros less than the old lira, whereas the Euro countries had complex exchange rate conversions. In the Euro zone It was easy for businesses to increase prices without consumers noticing. Having 1 year of dual-pricing in Turkey also helped. The Euro countries had far less time to adjust to the new Euro currency before their old currencies were withdrawn.